How To Use AD When Creating Content

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Last week I had the pleasured talking at an Influencer Marketing Breakfast Briefing with the Advertising Standards Authority thanks to Promo Veritas. The hot topic was how to use AD if a brand has any form of control over a blogger or influencers content. It was surprising how the majority of both brands and content creators are actually doing it wrong. But saying that, influencer marketing is a technique that has only just evolved alongside the rise of social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so it is all new. I never would have thought that I could make a living from blogging and social media when I started over five years ago. But it’s clear that we all must be legal, decent, honest and truthful. For me as with all posts on NewLifenStyle, I only feature brands which I’m truly passionate about, and will give my 100% honest opinion regardless of whether I’ve received a product for free or not. Any commercial activity has always been disclosed but now I can confirm how to use AD when creating content.

So firstly how to use AD when a brand has control over your content is key, this includes a payment, free gift, or other perks, the post then becomes an AD. If the commercial intent isn’t clear from the overall context of communication, it should be labelled as an AD so not to break the ASA’s rules. Also if a brand asks to use even a hashtag on an Instagram post this should be labeled, AD, as the brand has had a form of control over the content. I’d previously thought AD was only used for paid content, but that’s not so, it does include gifts, perks and any form of control over content.

You must use labels as AD, advert or advertisement and this must be clearly placed and easily seen by all. If it is an AD, don’t use the label sponsored or #sp – I see so much of this on Instagram! Oh and whilst we are on the subject of Instagram, the AD doesn’t have to be hashtaged but must be added to the text. Also the new ‘paid partnership’ feature has been set up by Instagram and isn’t a request from ASA. In regard to blogging the same applies, but the AD must be placed at the beginning of a post and not at the bottom. You would have noticed that this is one change that I’ve recently made on NewLifenStyle, my disclaimer will always be clear, noticeable, and now placed at the beginning of a post and never hidden.

How To Use AD When Creating Content

Who takes responsibility?

Under the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing, the brands (the advertiser) has primary responsibility for complying with the rules as do you the publisher. If in doubt, you can contact CAP for help in staying the right side of the line.

I hope by sharing what I’ve learnt this week helps with any blurred lines on exactly how to be using AD the correct way, please feel free to comment should you have any questions to these guidelines?

Love my look? You can shop my midi dress here.




  1. 5:01 pm / 5:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing R. Really useful info here xx

  2. 9:05 am / 9:05 am

    Thanks Rhiannon, I have always highlighted on my blogs if the meal etc. is complimentary, looks like I had better start adding#AD’s to my Instagram & Twitter posts as well ..

  3. 9:36 am / 9:36 am

    The pic look so cool! thanks for sharing! great tips dear!!
    Mónica Sors

  4. 11:29 am / 11:29 am

    There is always something new to learn!
    To be honest I was not aware of this, so I am so happy that I was able to read it all at your blog.
    What if a brand send you a gift but they dont give you a deadline and they do not ask you for a hashtag – does it still count as AD?


  5. 3:42 pm / 3:42 pm

    Hi Renia,

    Good question, if they have sent you a gift – that is a form of payment so it would be classed as an AD. However, if you have received a sample product with no indication of control, they you don’t have to use AD. Moving forward though, I personally will always disclose this – you can read more here

  6. 2:18 pm / 2:18 pm

    YES! Gosh this has been a worry of mine for ages as I couldn’t seem to get the same answer from anyone I asked. I’m so pleased this has been put to bed so I can get on with the job of creating content. Thanks mate x

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